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(l) A group communication structure used to facilitate communication on a specific task. The method usually involves anonymity of responses, feedback to the group as a whole of individual and/or collective views and the opportunity for any respondent to modify an earlier judgment. The method is usually conducted asyncronously via paper and mail but can be executed within a computerized conferencing environment. At the essence of the method is the question of how best to tailor the communication process to suit the situation. The Delphi method was originally developed at the RAND Corporation by Olaf Helmer and Norman Dalkey. (Murray Turoff)

(2) A technique to arrive at a group position regarding an issue under investigation, the Delphi method consists of a series of repeated interrogations, usually by means of questionnaires, of a group of individuals whose opinions or judgments are of interest. After the initial interrogation of each individual, each subsequent interrogation is accompanied by information regarding the preceding round of replies, usually presented anonymously. The individual is thus encouraged to reconsider and, if appropriate, to change his previous reply in light of the replies of other members of the group. After two or three rounds, the group position is determined by averaging. (IIASA)

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